Certified cook. Cooked as a job for over 25 years so far. Had my own place twice. Started cooking in Italy when I moved there with my first wife. Her parents owned a hotel with a restaurant and I couldn't speak Italian so I got thrown in the kitchen.
. About 6 months later, we took the restaurant and bar over for a couple of years before I moved back to Canada. Tried a few jobs, some cooking, some not, then decided to get my own place going again in 94. Bought a small 30 seat family diner in a village of 300. Ran it for 13 years. Got my certification papers during this time. Finally got tired of all of the hours so i quit and went straight into kitchen management a day later. Three restaurants later, I am now back to carpentry with an old friend of mine. It is only temporary. I am eyeing another restaurant and hope to be cooking again in the next year or so.
So, cooking has been a way for me to support myself and my family for many years. I recommend any young person to take a job in a restaurant as a teenager because you can carry these skills with you and if you ever need an income you can always get a job cooking. It worked for my son as he worked his way through college and set himself up in two different cities.
I also play music on weekends to suppliment my income and get my ya ya' out.